CHAMBRUN, Haiti -- Survivors of the January 12 earthquake have found help at a church where American relief organizations are offering support.
Mercy Chefs, a disaster relief organization of food and restaurant professionals, arrived in Haiti not long after the quake. American chef Gary Leblanc started the group four years ago with four simple words from God, "Just go feed people."
Now Mercy Chefs is not only helping to feed the Haitian people, but showing them how to put food on their own tables for years to come.
A Loving Act of Service
Chambre is a poor Haitian village which is home to 4,500 people. Hundreds of the villagers begin their week, walking to church, dressed in their Sunday best. Once they arrive, it's time to celebrate what's taking shape inside their hearts - and to forget about January's deadly natural disaster.
"I can see the problem and complain about it, and say 'Let me do something about it,' said Pastor Espérandieu Pierre, founder of Nehemiah Vision Ministries, a church, school and health center which servers the people of Chambre.
"Poor people don't need to hear about Christ," Pierre said. "They want to feel, they want to hear the demonstration of the Gospel through the act of love."
The latest act of love for the people of Chambre is coming from Mercy Chefs.
"The images on TV were too familiar to me," LeBlanc said. "They took me right back to the days after Hurricane Katrina. We just felt compelled to come."
Global Aid Network, the international arm of Campus Crusade for Christ, is building a new dining hall and Mercy Chefs is also adding a state of the art kitchen to the facility.
The workers' tireless efforts won praise from LeBlanc.
"You guys are doing a great job man," LeBlanc said. "I think the last time I was here, it was just a flat piece of concrete - no walls, no ceiling."
The building project is employing Haitians who need jobs. And when it's done, there will be a bakery to employ even more people.
"We are going to find a pastry chef, a master baker to come in to teach how to do the bakery here," LeBlanc said.
Until now, the campus cook has used a pot over an outdoor flame to prepare daily meals for hundreds.
"When Mercy Chefs come to Haiti and He is helping the people that are ministering to us -- that is the greatest message we need to hear and to see," Pierre said. "Sometime you can touch the message. Sometime you can hear it and we need both."